Bizarre & Amazing Musical Instruments You Never Knew Existed

Music is the universal form of communication that transcends regional and linguistic boundaries. It is the food of love, they say. Humankind has been making music since the dawn of time and literally never stopped – continuing to create new and incredible sounds – using new and incredible instruments. Beyond the guitar, the sitar and the keyboard; the boundless creativity and imagination of the human brain has managed to create some pretty amazing musical instruments from ancient times, continuing into recent times:

The Sharpsichord

Created by sound sculptor (yes that is an actual job description) Henry Dagg, this is also known as the pin barrel harp. This was meant to be a part of a sound sculpture for the Cecil Sharp House in London; to allow visiting public to create their own music! 

The yaybahar

This is an acoustic instrument created by Gorkem Sen. Made up of coiled springs and frame drums, the instrument creates a hypnotic surround sound.

The Hydraulophone

Apparently, this one is some sort of xylophone that involves water. In this musical instrument, the person ‘plays’ the instrument using ‘keys’ of water. Invented by Steve Mann, this instrument is occasionally a part of symphonic bands.

The Pikasso Guitar

This one may look like something for many-limbed aliens to play, but it is in fact, a fairly popular form of the guitar that was created by Linda Manzer. She is also the creator of many other types of guitar such as the harp guitar, the flat top guitar, the sitar guitar – around 50 guitar prototypes in all! 

The glass harmonica

Have you ever noticed, how moving a wet finger around the rim of certain glasses produces some very specific sounds? This invention of Benjamin Franklin is created using wine glasses in various sizes and is based on the same acoustic effect.

The wheelharp

This is a keyboard operated string instrument that operates on spinning wheels; controlled by the musician's foot. This interesting looking instrument – a cross between a hurdy-gurdy and harpsichord was created by Jon Jones and Mitchell Manger.

The cello horn

Also known as the strohcello, this is a cello with a membrane under the bridge, amplified in a gramophone horn – a hybrid instrument that is usually handmade and extremely rare.  

Giant wind chime

There are beautiful winding paths in the garden and an incredible variety of roses that grow here. Another startling feature of the Chandigarh rose garden is a giant tree size wind chime which produces lovely tinkling sounds at the least hint of a breeze, adding to the charm of the park.

The singing ringing tree

Similar to the Chandigarh wind chime, this is a public installation in Lancashire, England. This is a wind-powered sound sculpture that creates choral sounds using various different sizes of pipes.

The sea organ

In Zadar Croatia, there is another interesting public installation that creates music of a kind as the waves flow through it - yet another testament to the seemingly limitless ingenuity of the human mind!

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